TA DA! My debut as a blogger! As yesterday was my last ever day of university (hopefully), I decided to start a blog since I'll have so much free time without having to study or write papers anymore. Hallelujah!
I haven't quite decided the artistic direction for my blog, so for now, it will be a random mishmash of travel adventures and food reviews. With that being said, this first series of posts will be dedicated as a photo diary of my 5 and a half day trip to Vancouver, BC in the August of 2013. It's long overdue, I know. Sorry about that.
Vancouver is one of my most favorite cities in the world, and I would move there in a heartbeat if it weren't for its insanely high cost of living. Plus the moving out part... I'm definitely not ready for that yet. For now, I shall be content with just being a tourist there every summer.
During this particular trip, I went with a few friends and we stayed at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Richmond, which is basically the Canadian mecca for Asian cuisine. Our two rooms were on the ground floor, which opened up into the small outdoor pool area.
Our first day itinerary basically included a trip to Aberdeen Centre followed by the Richmond Night Market in the evening.
Aberdeen Centre is a must stop for me every single time I come to Vancouver, all thanks to Daiso. I think I went to Daiso 3 times during this trip and managed to walk out with a bag full of stuff each time. How could you not when everything is only $2?!
We also decided to have dinner in the food court for the variety and convenience. Shameless confession time: sometimes I order food based on what would make a good picture. Exhibit A: Teppan Kitchen. Teppan Kitchen serves Japanese-style teppanyaki meals delivered to you on a sizzling plate. Depending on the meal you choose, the meat is served raw and actually cooks on the plate! However, I chose a dish not nearly as cool, the tonkatsu teppan rice ($8.25).
The dish basically consisted of a fried pork cutlet, a bowlful of rice, corn, green onions, and a generous dousing of garlic butter soy sauce. I think if I ordered this again, I would tell them to go easy on the sauce. Everything combined was just a bit too salty for me.
Going along with the tonkatsu theme, KN went for the tenderloin katsu curry ($8.50) from Saboten. Saboten is apparently a really popular chain, with restaurants all over Asia. They opened its first overseas venture in Aberdeen with much hype at the beginning of 2012. I suppose hype has gone down steadily over time, but I hope they are still sticking around the next time I visit Vancouver since I'd like to try what the fuss was all about back then.
I believe the next two dishes are from the same stall, Aji Hana Japanese Eatery and Udon. I think I've ordered from this stall in the past and know that service is incrediblyyyyy slow. Be prepared to wait if you ever order anything from them.
I believe the following dishes were the kimchi beef ramen and the meat lover's pasta.
After dinner, we took the skytrain to River Rock, which was the location of the Richmond Night Market. The Richmond Night Market is apparently the "original" night market that later got replaced by the International Summer Night Market. They're back now, bigger than ever, and apparently much more popular than their competitor. The theme during this year was ducks, inspired by the giant rubber duck in Hong Kong's harbour.
The night market runs every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening during the summer months. It features merchandise stalls consisting of random things you don't need and and the main event: FOOD. I don't think we bought much or ate much because we were a. too tired, b. already full from dinner, and c. slightly overwhelmed.
Regardless, it would've been blasphemous to come all the way without trying anything. Below, we have stinky tofu, a copycat japadog, and shrimp teriyaki takoyaki!
The Richmond Night Market also had a carnival section this year, with a ton of cute plushies available to be won. Also this giant totoro bed was up for draw. IT'S SO FLUFFY.
After realizing we walked throughout the entire market grounds, we took a taxi back to the hotel and promptly had a photoshoot with our prize winnings.
I know what you're thinking, we are so cool.